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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Darling (Blu-ray) (2015)

Darling (Blu-ray) (2015)

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Released 16-Feb-2017

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 77:02
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Mickey Keating
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Lauren Ashley Cooper
Brian Morvant

Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Giona Ostinelli

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, extra scene during end credits

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Plot Synopsis

     A young woman, identified only as Darling (Lauren Ashley Carter), is hired as the caretaker of an old New York house. The house has an evil reputation in the neighbourhood for having demons and ghosts and the last caretaker had taken her own life by jumping from the top floor. As the young woman settles in she finds a chain with an upside down crucifix in a drawer and a locked door at the end of a bare corridor. She then starts to hear noises and voices and experiences hallucinations while in the house. She also seems to become obsessed with a man (Brian Morvant) after what appears to be a chance meeting in the street. Are there powers inside the house that are driving her towards madness, or is there something in her own past which is precipitating the events?

     Darling is a low budget psychological horror film by writer / director Mickey Keating. Last year I reviewed Keating’s previous film Pod (2015), another low budget, minimalist horror film which also featured Lauren Ashley Cooper, Brian Morvant and a score by Giona Ostinelli. If anything Darling is more minimalist than even Pod; it is shot in black and white using only a couple of locations and is essentially a one-hander by Lauren Ashley Cooper. And Cooper is mesmerising and creepy; with almost no dialogue, it is her expressions and especially the blank, creepy stare from her large eyes which drive the tension. Cooper is waif-like in stature and appearance which she uses to good effect in horror; I have enjoyed watching her since I saw her in the excellent horror film Jug Face (2013) which I also reviewed on this site.

     As a writer, Keating is economic and precise with barely an extraneous scene: at just 78 minutes Darling wastes no time in introductions or explanations, diving directly into the mysteries of the house and of the young woman’s mind. As a director Keating remains, as in Pod, more than ready to rely on many of the staples of horror films, such as a cut away to a black screen, flash frames or sudden noises accompanied by loud music. However, while these may be old techniques they work well here as Darling is atmospheric, tense and chilling, with more than a fair share of scares and surprises, including a McGuffin.

     With beautiful black and white photography of New York scenes, good acting by Carter and a tight script, Darling is an excellent psychological horror film which explores the mind of a young woman with a past; there are no easy explanations and the ending takes no prisoners.

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Transfer Quality


     Darling is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     Darling is filmed in luminous black and white which is slightly overexposed. This gives a brighter look to most of the film and a muted, soft, almost dreamy, look to the New York cityscapes. Detail is firm. Blacks and shadow detail are very good.

     I did not notice any artefacts or marks.

     There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio is English DTS-HD MA 5.1.

     This is good audio track. Dialogue, what little there is of it, is clear. In the quieter moments the surrounds featured a ticking clock, distant thunder, various house noises and a predominately piano score. As the tension increases there are voices all around the room, atonal music, sudden loud noises and the shrill of the ringing telephone creating an effective, unsettling atmosphere. Without overdoing it, the sub-woofer supported the sudden noises, hallucinations and the music.

     The score by Giona Ostinelli helped to build the tension and was intentionally jarring when required.

     There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     No extras at all. The menu offers only “Play” and “Chapters”.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There does not seem to be any other Blu-ray of Darling available at the moment.


     If you like your horror full of slasher moments with everything parcelled up neatly and explained then Darling will not be your cup of tea. Darling does have its scares, shocks and gruesome moments but filmed in luscious black and white and with a mesmerising performance by Lauren Ashley Carter , Darling is an excellent psychological horror film that will keep you guessing right up to the closing titles if you give it a chance.

     The video and audio are very good. Zilch extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, February 27, 2017
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE